Strategic and Creative Web Presence
This is an adaptation from my paper presented in Rome last April 2015 entitled “Creative Faith-based Online Writing”. In that presentation, I followed the below Theoretical Framework:
For this blog article, I’ll summarize the main points I’ll deliver in a lecture entitled “Strategic and Creative Web Presence”. I take inspiration from the regular conferences entitled “Professional Seminar for Church Communications Offices” run by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.
It is a fact that millions of men and women of all nations, races, and classes are taking advantage of the blogging medium to articulate their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and particularistic identities online, without having to get the approval of book publishers, newspaper editors, employers, or party bosses, is undoubtedly a new phase in political communication (Keren, 2010). A Weblog can take the form of a diary, a news service (or summaries of and links to current news items on a topic), a collection of links to other Web sites, a series of book reviews, reports of activity on a project, a journal or diary, a photographic record of an event or activity, or any number of other forms (Stephens, 2006).
In this day and age, many persons and social actors (institutions, brands, media) are actively involved in public opinion and, in certain cases, influence it through communication strategies. To attain this, it has become necessary to know by heart the so-called <media language>. Such language has turned practically into currency, and it has come within the reach of common man, even those outside the communication profession, and has thus profoundly affected those actors in the social and cultural realm. And when it comes to Church communication, the Church is impelled to participate as one more in this dialectic of means, which has come to include: rapidity and instantaneity, specific language and semantics, technical dynamics of the press, of radio, of television, of the Internet, etc. (Pérez-Latre, 2007).
Authenticity: The Catholic blogger has to support the Church’s view of world communications as that which embraces new technologies, new relationships, and promotes a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship, in an environment promoting truth and authenticity of life in the digital age. The Second Vatican Council had emphasized, as leitmotifs exemplifying the expanded horizon for the understanding of the Church, that the Church is mystery, is communio, is mission to the world, and is community of dialogue. In the document Lumen Gentium, one finds fundamental elements of Ecclesiology: that the Church is “the People of God”, the “Body of Christ” in the Holy Spirit, is communion, is a universal sacrament of salvation, and at the same time a complex reality given in Her the dual elements of humanity and divinity (Lee, 2012; Hunt, 2013; Van Bühren, 2013). Hence, the faith-based online writer cannot betray these realities. An authentic communicator is necessarily truthful (to speak the truth and to act according to the truth); without truthfulness, there is no communication. But since vir bonus dicendi peritus (a good orator is defined as a good man), then he ought to exercise the Christian virtues, above all, the virtue of love, or charity, a radical love which is a gift of self.
Hunt, Anne (2013). The Trinitarian Depths of Vatican II. Theological Studies. 74(1): 3-19.
Keren, Michael (2010). Blogging and Mass Politics. Biography. 33(1), 110-126.
Lee, Katrina (2012). Strategies for Improving the Impact of Church Websites. The case of Xt3. 8º Seminario Professionale di Comunicazione della Chiesa. Roma: Pontificia Università della Santa Croce.
Pérez-Latre, Francisco (2007). Algunas ideas sobre transmisión de valores. In Antonio Aranda (Ed.) Identidad cristiana: Coloquios universitarios. Navarra: EUNSA. 291-297.
Stephens, Michael (2006). Blogs. Library Technology Reports. 42(4), 15-35.
Van Bühren, Ralf (2013). Cinquant’anni dopo l’apertura del Concilio Vaticano II: Alcune questioni aperte sull’ermeneutica, la ricezione e la storiografia. Rivista teologica di Lugano. 18(1): 97-108.
Provide good content:
Content is king on the Internet: it is Rule #1. If you don’t follow this rule, the remaining 9 ideas here are of no use. If you’ve got good material ―videos, explanations, pictures, news―, by itself it shall spread. If yours is not original material, feel free to spread the good content you find on websites or news channels which you find interesting and helpful. Speak in today’s language… Use videos a lot: those that are original, impactful, amusing, are the most desired by readers.
Speak always in a positive manner, speak personally to the heart of your reader. You should never be against anything or anyone. A friendly and amusing explanation would do much greater good than a long list of arguments, no matter how well reasoned out these are. You might not convince a given reader or listener, but if you write in a sufficiently gracious or humorous manner, you might win a friend 🙂 Only then will you be able to help. We should practice refinement and an extreme respect for the freedom of others.
Tips & tricks to be on top of Google searches:
A. CONTENT is king!
- Original Content.
- Content that makes users/readers pass by your site very frequently; this in turn increases the likelihood of them interacting with your site (e.g., via comments):
- Vídeos & slide presentations (Slide Share)
- Articles of more than 500 words
- News related to your site/page.
- Check Google Analytics for indicators of interaction:
- Time spent on your site/page
- Pages per visit
- Check if other websites copy you (quote you).
- Each page landing should focus on a concrete keyword: Make sure to include on your site/page concepts that are semantically related to that keyword. Check out Google Trends, Google Autocomplete & “Searches related to” (at the end of a page of results on Google).
- Youtube videos with titles optimized for your keywords.
- Link to (with ‘nofollow’) articles of other websites that are relevant to your particular topic.
- Putting a blog in a subdirectory (not subdomain), with original content, can improve Google positioning.
- Blogs with content arranged/ordered by tags & categories.
- Content that is grammatically correct and hierarchically arranged with labels/tags “h2” and “h3.
- At least 1 image on each post.
- Frequent publication/posts with new content.
- Broadening or updating old blogs/posts (and later, change the publication date)
- Allow comments on your blog page. The more comments, the merrier.
- Beware of SPAM comments (those that lead you to fake/spam/porn or otherwise doubtful links).
B. On-Page SEO checklist (tips/tricks). See here: